Being content is a full-time job. One would think being content would be easy, but I have found it difficult at times. I find myself wishing, wanting and dreaming of what I want to do, where I want to go or what I want to buy.
When I was younger I thought the grass was always greener on the other side, but it did not take me long to discover the grass is about the same everywhere.
I had a woman (not from here) ask me why anyone chooses to live in such a flat country with so little to do. The first thought coming to my mind was to take offense. Then I thought about the question and decided I live here because "it is home."
Home is where the heart is, and I guess once we put down our roots they can go deep.
I really couldn't fault her, because I remember at the age of 11 when my parents returned to Arkansas, it took me awhile to feel at home. She just needs to give it a little time. Then if she still doesn't like the area she can always move.
I grew up, got married and we moved back to Aurora, Ill., where I had spent my young years. We got jobs and worked there for a couple of years. I loved the snow and the cold weather in the winter. During the summer months it would be warm enough for shorts in the daytime but cool enough for jackets in the evening. I liked that climate when I was a child and it did not bother me as a young woman. Today, I would probably not care for the extreme cold.
When our son was born, we decided to move home to Buffalo Island so he could be near his grandparents.
That was 40 years ago last May.
We came to Arkansas for a visit over Mother's Day, and I just couldn't go back home to Illinois. That may have been the first time I realized I liked Northeast Arkansas and appreciated my home. Sometimes I wonder where life would have taken us if we had not returned.
I lost my "wanderlust" as far as wanting to make a permanent move, but I still enjoy a road trip from time to time.
My sister-in-law went to Alaska last week, and she has been reporting temperatures in the 50's. That sounded good to me as we went through the 100 degree week.
There are many places I still want to see, so I hope I can stay healthy enough to make a few more trips before staying home looks better than going. Every year I can feel myself leaning more toward becoming a homebody.
When someone asks me why I like to live here, I can honestly say it is the people. When we have problems, people are there for us. If there is a need, our friends and neighbors are always there to help.
I can dial a wrong number and my voice is recognized. Sometimes we can talk for 15 minutes or so with no problem.
I do like to travel and see new places, but I am content to come home. I love Buffalo Island and its people. Most people who grew up here still call it home no matter how many miles away life has taken them.
Like I said, those roots go deep.